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Matthew Hussey, Esther Perel & Tracy McMillan

Sex, Love and Relationships From Master Coaches

When is the last time you heard master coaches talk about . . . your intimate relationships?

I know I get huge value every time I sit across from an expert and hear their wisdom about one of the most important parts of my life — my relationships.

We’ve had some amazing relationship coaches on the podcast through the years, but some of the episodes are so old, I know you may not remember them (or have ever heard them).

That’s why I wanted to put together another mashup episode from the archives to share some of these gems with you.

If you enjoyed last week’s mashup episode on High Performance Habits, you’re going to love this one.

"When you become rare, people become really terrified of losing you."  

"Monogamy is a practice."  

We’re first featuring a clip from my good friend and global dating icon Matthew Hussey. This is still one of the most popular episodes we’ve ever recorded.

Then we dive into part of my conversation with Tracy McMillan, an Oprah favorite, a long-term TV writer, and relationship expert. I love how real and honest Tracy is in this episode.

Last, we feature the master therapist herself, bestselling author and powerhouse coach Esther Perel (who has been on the podcast twice and spoken at Summit of Greatness).

I think you’ll love each clip for a different reason — and I want to know! Let me know by messaging me on social media @lewishowes.

If you’re looking for some insight into making your intimate relationships better, look no further than this mashup Episode 637.

Some Questions I Ask:

In this episode, you will learn:

  • The problem with having a sense of entitlement in dating (5:05)
  • What makes you attractive beyond your best quality (10:10)
  • The biggest mistake people make in dating (12:41)
  • How to get through the rough patches of a relationship (17:13)
  • The importance of humor in relationships (19:35)
  • How to work with your partner when they are triggered (20:55)
  • Why monogamy is a choice (26:45)
  • Plus much more…

Show Notes:

Connect with
Matthew Hussey, Esther Perel & Tracy McMillan

Transcript of this Episode

Lewis Howes:              This is episode number 637, The Masters Of Relationships.

Welcome to The School of Greatness. My name is Lewis Howes, former pro-athlete turned lifestyle entrepreneur and each week we bring you an inspiring person or message to help you discover how to unlock your inner greatness. Thanks for spending some time with me today. Now, let the class begin.

Henry Ford said, “Coming together is a beginning, keeping together is progress, working together is success.”

This episode is a little different, my friends. We did something last week, all about High Performance Habits, where we took highlights from people like Tony Robbins, Mel Robbins, Brendon Burchard and others and we gave you some incredible wisdom in one episode, from these highlights in one topic. And we thought we’d do it again, on the keys to powerful relationships, marriage, sex, love, from the world’s greatest relationship experts and coaches.

And, again, if you haven’t listened to the last one on High Performance Habits, make sure to listen to that after this one. But this one, we’re featuring Matthew Hussey, my good friend, one of the leading expert on relationships, for women, on how to get the guy and keep the guy and have thriving relationships.

We also have Tracy McMillan, which was a huge hit a number years ago, which most people didn’t hear, but I think she has some powerful nuggets, that you’re going to love. And then, one of my favourites as well, Esther Perel, every sentence she says is just so valuable. I’m on the edge of my seat every time I hear her talk. So I know you guys are going to enjoy this one.

Make sure to share it with your friends, lewishowes.com/637, and let me know your most favourite part from this episode, it doesn’t matter if you’re looking to date someone, you’re looking to get married, you’re in a marriage, or you just want to have better relationships in general, this one is going to be a powerful one for you.

And before we dive in, I want to give a shout out to the Fan of the Week! This is from Kate Stough who said, “Without fail, after every podcast I listen to, I want to call up a loved one and gush to them about the guest speaker and their journey. This podcast will leave you feeling inspired, moved and antsy to get out and make a difference in this world. Personally, this podcast has had a profound impact on my life. Lewis and his guests have provided me with comfort, wisdom and motivation during what has been a very dramatic year.”

And Kate Stough goes on to share more and more, but we’ll leave it at that. And, again, big thank you to Kate Stough, and if you guys haven’t left a review yet, we have just about 3,000 five star reviews on the podcast, which humbles me. So, I appreciate all the appreciation and support, and so if you haven’t left a review, make sure to get over there on your podcast app, or just on iTunes, and you can leave a review on The School of Greatness, it would mean the world to me.

And a big shout out to our sponsor today, which is DesignCrowd. For those that haven’t heard of DesignCrowd, it’s the best resourcer online, if you want to get graphic designs, logos, course designs, website deigns, Tee-shirt graphics, book covers, anything like that. They’re my want-to-go-to shop, for all things graphics, and especially if I want to get graphics quickly at an affordable price. They’ve got designers from all over the world, and you get tons of designs back, when you submit your own design on DesignCrowd, you’ll get 60-100 designs within the first few days.

And then you get to choose the one you like, tweak it, continue to make adjustments until you’re happy, and you get the perfect design every single time. And our listeners get a $100 VIP credit, when you go to designcrowd.com/greatness. Again, make sure to go to designcrowd.com/greatness to get incredible design for all your design needs.

Alright, guys, I’m excited about this one. For me, the key to success in life is relationships. Without relationships it’s hard to create anything, really. It’s hard to get to where you want to be, in your career, it’s hard to get to where you want to be personally, it’s hard to build a family, it’s really hard to be happy if you’re just alone all the time. We thrive from a community and through intimate, personal, deeply connected relationships.

So, without further ado, let me introduce to you, The Masters Of Relationships, on this episode 637.

Matthew Hussey:         I think there’s something of a sense of entitlement that most of us have, or that most people have when they’re going out to date. Where they somehow feel like they’re just owed the love of their life, that it shouldn’t be difficult, that they don’t have to do anything, that it’s enough that they are just them.

You know, it’s, I don’t know if you’ve ever seen ‘Bridget Jones’, but there’s a line in ‘Bridget Jones’, where, I forget his name, Colin Firth, I think it is, he’s looking at Bridget and he says, I think he says, “Exactly how you are, I love you,” like, no changes, nothing, I love you exactly how you are. And sometimes we feel like we’re owed that, and it kind of becomes an excuse, again.

Lewis Howes:              To be lazy.

Matthew Hussey:         Not to grow. Frankly, it doesn’t really matter what you think you’re owed in love. No one really cares.

Lewis Howes:              I mean it’s the same thing with work, you know, so many people are entitled and they think they should just get a job.

Matthew Hussey:         Exactly. It’s with everything. And so the biggest criticism I get all the time, which I’m happy with, as a criticism of my advice, is, “Well, why do you need to do all of this stuff? Why can’t you just go through life and when the time is right, you’ll now? Why do you have to do all of these techniques?” I’m happy with that criticism.

If that’s what you think, you’re not my audience, because my audience are the same people that go to a business seminar to make money. They’re the same people that say, “You know what? If I want to start a business, I might actually need to know what the hell I’m doing.” It’s not enough to have confidence in life, you have to have competence. You have to actually know what you’re doing, and that’s what a lot of people don’t know in their love lives.

If you, for example, there’s something that I came to understand. I remember once having a break-up. It was the most painful break-up I’ve ever had. I was really in a bad way over it, and a while later I spoke to this woman on the phone, and I had said to her, in a brave moment on the phone, “Why did you want to break up?” Because, by the way…

Lewis Howes:              You talked to the woman you were dating? Later on the phone?

Matthew Hussey:         Yeah, the one that had… Later, like, a year or two later. I was less raw, I was feeling a little more…

Lewis Howes:              And how long was the relationship for?

Matthew Hussey:         A couple of years. And I was pretty cut up about it. Now, the funny thing was, to make a long story short, she had actually done something I didn’t like, that I had thought was inappropriate and disrespectful, and I remember going to her the next day and saying, “I think we need to break up.”

Lewis Howes:              During the relationship she did this, yeah.

Matthew Hussey:         Yeah. And she then said to me, “Okay.” And that was when I knew she was breaking up with me. It wasn’t, you know, when you think you’re breaking up with them?

Lewis Howes:              No, she was already doing it.

Matthew Hussey:         She was breaking up with me, and what was so painful about it, was that she didn’t mind. I thought she might get upset. No. She didn’t mind, and that was the most painful part about it.

Lewis Howes:              And she didn’t even fake it! You know what I mean? Most people would have faked it, like, “I can’t believe this!” like, “Really?” But no…

Matthew Hussey:         No, she went like, she was, “Okay, this is a good decision.”

Lewis Howes:              Wow!

Matthew Hussey:         So, I remember a while later we were on the phone and we became, we’re friends today, we’re very good friends, in fact. And I had said to her on the phone, “Why did we break up? What was it, for you, that I wasn’t doing?” And I braced myself for the answer, and she said, “Do you really want to know?”

Lewis Howes:              Honest feedback.

Matthew Hussey:         And I literally thought to myself, “Wait, do I really want to know?” and I grit my teeth and I said, “Yeah, I want to know.” She said, “You were boring.” And it was so much worse than I thought it would be. Do you know what I mean? It wasn’t just, “Oh, you know I was young,” and, “I was this,” or, “I wanted to be free.” No. “You were boring.” It was really cutting. And I remember resisting the urge to bite back.

Lewis Howes:              Like, “I wasn’t boring, you were…”

Matthew Hussey:         Yeah, exactly, but I was like, “Shut up, idiot, you asked the question, so now, listen.” So I asked, “Why was I boring?” She said, “When I first met you, you were the most ambitious person I’d ever met.” And she said, “I had never met someone with such an ability to decide they want something and then get it.”

And she said, “It was so sexy. But as we went into our relationship, the more time went on, the more that was all you were. You were super ambitious, you knew how to get what you want, but you were so one-dimensional. It was all you did. Even in our free time, you were on your phone, you were on your laptop, you would talk about your business. You were always talking shop. There was never anything else you had to talk about. We didn’t do anything spontaneous, we never went and had adventures,” she said, “and it was all one track. It got boring.”

And I said, “Wow!” She was right, there was nothing I could argue with. And I realised something in that moment, one quality can make you really attractive, right? But it won’t keep someone.

Lewis Howes:              It can make you get the person.

Matthew Hussey:         Right. It can make you sexy, it can make you intriguing.

Lewis Howes:              Mysterious.

Matthew Hussey:         Right, but, it can even for a time, make someone worship or idolise you. One quality. But one quality will not hold someone. Because the reality was, there was a flip side to ambition, which would have made it eminently more attractive, and there are a few, right? If you pair ambition, say, with an ability to enjoy life, now that person is super sexy! You combine ambition with a sense of spontaneity for example.

Lewis Howes:              Adventure.

Matthew Hussey:         Very, very sexy. Ambition on it’s own, when you look at it from afar: very, very attractive. Women will say, “I want an ambitious man. I like that.” But when they get up close, if there’s only one side to a coin, it quickly becomes unattractive. Someone I’m a big fan of, but who has, unfortunately, passed, is Christopher Hitchens. He once said about love, “The challenge is in not allowing your strengths to negate themselves.”

And that’s a very powerful statement, because my ambition was my greatest strength, that also had the ability to be the thing that crippled me. Because, what happens is, when you get good at something and you get validation from it.

Lewis Howes:              You keep doing it and you become better at it, yeah.

Matthew Hussey:         Right. And it becomes, if you’re not careful, a muscle that you train to the point of mutation, and then every other part of you is not working, has atrophied. So, now you have a complete imbalance.

I remember working out at the gym once, and my trainer was doing pull-ups. I was trying to work out my back, my back was fine, I could keep going, and then, all of a sudden, my forearms gave up, while I was trying to pull myself up. And I said, “This is so annoying. We’re trying to work on my back, and my back’s fine, but my forearms are given up.” He said, “You’re only as strong as your weakest link. If your forearms aren’t there, you’re not going to be able to train your back as well as you could.”

So, here’s the point about this, which I find very interesting about dating. To your point of “What’s the biggest mistake people make?” Apart from, of course, the entitlement, it’s over reliance on a key strength that they have come to rely on as their source of validation, success, confidence. Over reliance on that.

I had come to over rely on, essentially, being ahead of the curve for my age. That was the thing that I always based my confidence on, was I am always way ahead of the curve for people my age.

Lewis Howes:              My business is going great.

Matthew Hussey:         Correct. The people I grew up with, of my age group are not where I am.

Lewis Howes:              Just are still living at home, or whatever, yeah.

Matthew Hussey:         But guess what? That alone, is boring. It’s boring. And it doesn’t make an interesting, rounded, sexy person. But when you combine it with something else, it becomes what I call, unique pairing. Like, if I really wanted to get a woman attracted tonight, not me, but send a guy out to get a woman attracted, I could literally… If he went in, and he was a little cocky and teasing, but in the right way, not arrogant, obnoxious, but he knew how to play with her.

Lewis Howes:              Flirtatious. Yeah.

Matthew Hussey:         And then a couple of hours later, you know, maybe it’s getting late, he comes out of the restroom, and after being teasing and playful, and silly, he says, “You know what? It’s getting late, I called you a car. I don’t want you walking outside.” And he says, “I have to go as well, I have to get up early.”

He takes her outside, he gives her a little kiss, he says, “All jokes aside, I’ve had the best night with you tonight. I’ll call you later this week.” Puts her in the car, car drives away. That woman will be going, “Oh, crap. I like this guy.”

Now, the reason wasn’t because he was a gentleman, and it wasn’t because he was cocky and teasing, it was because he was both. It’s the “and”.

Lewis Howes:              If he does just one thing, it’s not interesting enough.

Matthew Hussey:         Because you can replace the cocky guy like that [clicks fingers]! Women know that. They can go out tonight and meet a cocky guy in Hollywood any night of the week. They don’t even have to go out the next night. They can turn to their left and meet another one straight away. By the way, even though people complain about, “chivalry is dead,” you can go out and meet a gentleman, you can go out and meet lots of nice guys.

Lewis Howes:              Right. And that’s all they are.

Matthew Hussey:         Right. Incredibly boring. They don’t hold a woman.

Lewis Howes:              Too nice, yeah.

Matthew Hussey:         But now, you find what seems to be a good man, but with an edge, that’s a unique pairing.

Lewis Howes:              That’s interesting.

Matthew Hussey:         And that’s someone that becomes, not an attraction, but an addiction.

Lewis Howes:              Ooh! I like that!

Matthew Hussey:         And there’s a big, big difference.  I believe that we will actually… I believe these pairings already exist within us, but we’ve over trained some sorts. We’ve over trained some qualities that we’ve gotten used to as habit.

For some people it’s being funny, for some people it’s being intellectual and they’re always the person that knows everything about everything. They’ve read every book, they can always quote something. For others it’s being seductive, that’s what they’re really good at. So, they’re really good at getting someone into bed or getting someone sexually attracted, but they’re never the person you want to eat pizza with the next day.

So, it’s finding those combinations that make you go, “Oh my gosh, the person I was with last night, they were this and they were this,” it’s the “and”. The “and” makes it

Lewis Howes:              “I wonder what else they can do?!”

Matthew Hussey:         Exactly. And by the way, that’s what makes it so hard, I say this to everybody, “If you want to know why it’s so hard to get over a certain ex, look for the unique pairing.”

Lewis Howes:              Oh! Because they had multiple things that was attractive.

Matthew Hussey:         They were some unique pairing that made you feel like they were difficult to replace and that’s what scares us. The more unique pairings you have, the more you become a rare bird in the dating market place. And when you become rare, people get really terrified of losing you.

* * *

Tracy McMillan:           Well, again, this is where I engage with faith, and I engage with a higher power. Because, you know, I’m down here on the human plane. It is not Google Satellite View, it’s not Google Earth, you’re not way up here in your life, having a crystal ball, knowing everything. So, for me, in one way you want to know how you feel, but then, in another way, there’s not one relationship on this planet that feels good all the time. Because when you’re coming up against your own material, it doesn’t feel good. So you have to be willing to not feel good.

Lewis Howes:              A lot of the time?

Tracy McMillan:           Yeah. Sometimes, a lot of the time. More like, sometimes you don’t feel good a lot of the time. Sometimes you feel good most of the time. You just have to roll with it. So, I was on the phone with a girl yesterday and she was like, “Well, how do I know if this relationship is right for me?” I’m like, “I wouldn’t think so much in those terms. I would say, ‘What am I here to learn today? What is this relationship teaching me today? What is it asking me to look at in myself? Why don’t I just look at that?’”

Lewis Howes:              Right now.

Tracy McMillan:           Right this second. Focus on that.

Lewis Howes:              Not worrying about, “five years from now, is it going to work out?” or, “what happens if this happens in the future?”

Tracy McMillan:           And not even focussing on the relationship, focussing on myself and what I’m here to look at, and then see what happens as I start to look at myself and focussing on learning and seeing what I need to practice because there’s always a lesson, there’s always a practice, spiritual practice, a growth that’s trying to happen. So, what I’ve found is, as I focus on that growth, is that the relationship tends to find an equilibrium, and then, if it’s supposed to go away, it will just go away, and it will easily go away, with ease and grace. If it’s supposed to stay, it will stay, and I will somehow make it through that tough day or that tough week or whatever it is. So, I sort of take the focus off…

Lewis Howes:              “Is this the right person for me?”

Tracy McMillan:           Yeah, because that’s not the right question. I don’t think that’s the right question. I think that leads us to swap out people, and there I still am.

Lewis Howes:              Right. And putting it on other people and not on ourselves, saying, “I haven’t found the right fit yet,” so we keep swapping around, keep going from guy to guy or girl to girl.

Tracy McMillan:           Yes, yes! And I’m that person who, I always joke that I’m that person who, if I did that, I would be lying on my deathbed, holding the hand of my new boyfriend.

Lewis Howes:              That you met just six months prior.

Tracy McMillan:           Yeah, because I’m just going to keep swapping out for the next person. Not everybody’s like that, but I know I am. Again, it’s about knowing yourself.

Lewis Howes:              Interesting. I like that, I like that. What’s the importance of humour during all the frustrating, messy times, confusing, triggering times that come up, for you?

Tracy McMillan:           To me, it’s everything. To me, everything is funny. It’s all funny. There is a humorous aspect to everything.

Lewis Howes:              Why do you think people put so much weight on these situations that come up for them in relationships, or he or she did/said this? Why do you think there’s so much weight in that?

Tracy McMillan:           Yeah, usually it’s some unresolved childhood thing. Like, there’s a saying that says, “If I’m hysterical, it’s historical.” So if I’m having a big, giant reaction to something, it’s old. It’s old.

Lewis Howes:              There’s a reason.

Tracy McMillan:           It’s from history. It’s from mommy, daddy, toddler, I don’t know when. But it’s old.

Lewis Howes:              Because you’re reacting based on a fear or a trigger or something that cause that in the past.

Tracy McMillan:           Yes, it’s so much bigger…

Lewis Howes:              Than the moment.

Tracy McMillan:           Exactly. If the reaction is super big to a very small thing, chances are it’s related to something in the past, something old.

Lewis Howes:              So how does someone be aware of that to, let’s say, we’re in a relationship and you freak out for some reason or something, how can I then work with my partner, in that moment, to not react, “You crazy woman!” which will be a trigger in my past for me to do the same thing, how can someone be trained?

Tracy McMillan:           That’s hard. That is really hard work.

Lewis Howes:              To be calm and loving and humorous, but not offensive in the moment.

Tracy McMillan:           That’s the key. Well, I think the first thing is to know that if we were really into each other when we first met, chances are, the stuff that triggers me is going to interlock with the stuff that triggers you.

So, we just got to know, we’re going to spend a whole, probably, year, or maybe more, just crashing into each other. Just crashing into each other, like, I’m going to have one of my bad reactions. That’s going to trigger some really old stuff for you, and then that’s going to trigger really old stuff for me, and then it’s time to roll up your sleeves and get to work in the relationship.

So, that’s maybe, you know, somewhere between, let’s say, you have your first fight at six months, somewhere in there, the honeymoon wears off somewhere between a year, eighteen months. And this is all chemical. There are all these neurotransmitters that are happening in the first six to eighteen months that gradually drop off and things start to get real.

And so then these triggers will happen, and if you know that’s coming, then I recommend therapy for everybody, and if it’s too intense to do therapy together, then you do it on your own. And they say you bring your problems to your therapy, and whatever you’re doing to grow as a human, and you bring the solutions to your relationship.

Then as you work through these, and you’re staying committed, one day at a time. You’re staying committed, staying committed, and then as these things, little by little, you’ll start to see, you’ll get a little bit of space in there. Where I have a reaction and this time you’re able to be…

Lewis Howes:              More at peace.

Tracy McMillan:           Not triggered, yeah.

Lewis Howes:              More compassionate, loving.

Tracy McMillan:           Yeah, or just be detached, “Oh, that’s Tracy and her dad thing again.”

Lewis Howes:              Right, and I won’t take it personal this time.

Tracy McMillan:           Yeah. But I don’t think anybody should be surprised when that takes a couple of years.

Lewis Howes:              Right, especially if you haven’t been trained or you don’t have the tools on how to handle specific emotions, because it can be very messy, and our ego’s can get in the way and mess things up even more.

Tracy McMillan:           Exactly. And, at times, people will choose a partner who doesn’t trigger them that much. That’s another solution. But a lot of times, those relationships aren’t as rich, because being…

Lewis Howes:              Triggered.

Tracy McMillan:           Is really an opportunity to resolve a bunch of stuff. It’s a really rich place.

Lewis Howes:              So, what happens if, after two years, you’re not being triggered any more by your partner? Does that mean you should just go on to the next one? It’s not rich any more?

Tracy McMillan:           No, different people have different… Again, this is where you’ve got to know who you are. Some people, like, I know I want a certain level of intensity, I know that, I want a dynamic operating…

Lewis Howes:              Passionate.

Tracy McMillan:           Yes. That’s what I need. Now, I’ve had a quieter relationship, and that doesn’t fit me as well.

Lewis Howes:              Not as spicy.

Tracy McMillan:           It’s just like some people are interested in the Black Diamond Ski Run and other people…

Lewis Howes:              Want the green.

Tracy McMillan:           And there’s no right or wrong, it’s just what’s right for you and are you a match for your partner?

Lewis Howes:              What’s your definition of love?

Tracy McMillan:           Yeah, well, I have so many. Love, to me, the biggest definition is, it’s like that pervasive force that is everywhere, and that when you tune into it, you’re in it. And it can be extrapolated in any direction. It could be in your work, it could be walking down the street, it could be in a love relationship, like a sexual relationship, it could be between parent and child.

So there’s just this thing that is there, and it’s always there, it’s everywhere, and you can tune into it. Or not. So when you tune into it, you’re in love. And then from there comes what we think of as romantic love or, romantic love is, to me, it’s service. It’s like, “I’m here to help you become more you. For me to become more me, and to walk a path with you.” Like in my relationship with we talk a lot about sitting on the end of the bed with the other person. Sometimes you just need a friend, somebody to sit on the end of the bed. It’s like a witness.

* * *

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Now, lets get back to the episode.

Esther Perel:                Monogamy is a practice. We are not by nature, biologically, evolutionary monogamous. It’s a practice. It’s a choice.

Lewis Howes:              It’s not our make-up.

Esther Perel:                No. And it’s choice, and monogamy is a continuum. You know, you have mind, you have fantasy, you have memory, you have a lot of things. At what point do you become non-monogamous? When does non-monogamy start? And all of these concepts are fluid concepts today. There is just no way to define it like that.

So, we make our choices and we make compromises and we sometimes don’t just do what we want. And we often need to think about the consequences of our actions and we need to think about the larger picture. And something that may be perfectly desirable for tonight, may not be worth it for the next months and the next years.

And I think that in the era of self-fulfilment and the right to happiness, we don’t have more desires today than the previous generations, we just feel more entitled to fulfil our desires. And we feel that we have a right to be happy, “my personal happiness”. The switch, the greatest switch is from a social organisation in which I think about the well being of others. Collectivist thinking, thinks about the well being of others, and I sacrifice my own individual needs for the well being of others.

To the other side of the continuum is, “I have a right to pursue my own individual needs, and the others have to adapt to it.” And I think we are a little bit on the extreme end of the other side at this point. We really take ourselves a little too seriously and sometimes at the detriment of other people to whom we do have an obligation and a commitment to. Not just our partners.

Lewis Howes:              The world.

Esther Perel:                The world. The world.

Lewis Howes:              So where should we be? Somewhere in the middle, do you think?

Esther Perel:                In an examined state. I don’t know that it’s always in the middle, but in an examined state. A state that doesn’t say, “What I like, what I feel, the fact that I have options, doesn’t mean I have to exercise all these options.” The problem of consumer life, is that we don’t know how any more to make choices. The same with the cereals in the supermarket. Why would it be any better with love?

So, I could get better, I could get better. I’m a victim of FOMO! How do I know this is the best? No, you don’t. When do I find the best? No, you don’t. You don’t find your partner, you choose your partner. It’s very different. If you think you’re going to find somebody who is the person who’s going to make you stop looking, it doesn’t work this way.

Lewis Howes:              Right.

Esther Perel:                No, it doesn’t. Because at some point your inner rumblings will start up again and you’ll say, “Oh, probably it’s not…”

Lewis Howes:              You’ll start looking.

Esther Perel:                Yes. You just say, “This is it. This is where I decide to put my roots at this moment. And I am going to try to deepen them.”

I think we are all living with paradoxes of choice, from which phone I get to… But we cannot commodify a partner. And just kind of beta test the partner, and beta test the relationship and just check out to see is it good enough or can I find better elsewhere? Yes. The fact is, you could find other. I’m not sure it would be better, but you definitely can find other.

And there are lots of people you can love, and there’s only a few you can make a life with, and they are not always the same. A lot of people you can have love stories with, and have beautiful love stories, but they’re not the person you would make a life with.

Lewis Howes:              How do you know when it’s the person you can make a life with?

Esther Perel:                I think values enter into there a lot more. You can have magnificent love stories with people you can never live with. They’re just too different from you, they have not the same values as you. One wants a child, the other does not. One wants to travel, the other does not. One wants career, the other does not. Very major differences, different classes, different weltanschauung, as the Germans say. A different view of the world.

But you can love them, you can have a beautiful love story with that person and be transported in your experience with them, but you know that that’s not the person with whom you are going to build a home, a future, a trajectory, maybe a family, if you want that. That’s not the person we do that with.

For that we need more of a shared vision, shared mission, shared values, stuff that is not just in the domain of feelings, but also in the domain of beliefs. It’s different. Views about money, views about independence and separateness versus connection. Views about emotional expressiveness. Views about power.

Lewis Howes:              Wouldn’t you say that those differences that we have also attract us to other people? That we have some of those differences, maybe we don’t share the same values or beliefs, but it’s also different, unique, interesting, so it also brings us together, or do you think that’s not enough?

Esther Perel:                I think what attracts you originally, is also what becomes the source of conflict later. The very thing that is so attractive because it’s different, is also the very thing that becomes difficult because it’s different. So, of course, it’s a mix and match.

Lewis Howes:              Interesting.

Esther Perel:                But what makes thriving relationships is not only feelings, it’s a mix of feelings, actions, beliefs, touches, physicality. It’s a more all-encompassing thing. A beautiful love story can be just about feelings, and you can love more people than those that you can make a life with.

That doesn’t mean you make a life with people you don’t love, but it means that there is a whole other set of ingredients that enter into the making of a life, which is the creation of a world. It’s a little different.

Lewis Howes:               Ooh! There you have it, my friends! I hope you enjoyed this one, on dating and marriage and love and sex and relationships and all the juicy parts of life. The things that are our greatest teachers. Relationships, in my mind, teach us the most about ourselves, teach us the most about how we handle ourselves in the world, and teach us the most about where we are in our lives.

And if you’re not happy in your life, you get to look at the most important relationship, which is the one with yourself. What are you doing? Are you honouring your word? Are you living in integrity? Are you following the thing that lights you up the most? Or are you beating yourself up? Are you saying negative things to yourself? And how is that reflected in the relationships of your life?

Ooh! So juicy! I know, I love this! If you enjoyed this one, make sure to share with your friends, lewishowes.com/637 and let me know your favourite part of this episode. Tag the people who you heard from today on Instagram or Twitter and give them a shout out as well.

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My friends, if this is your first time here, make sure to subscribe to the podcast, because we have powerful episodes coming every single Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and we have some juicy ones coming up my friends, yes, indeed! Get ready! Big things are happening at The School of Greatness and I can’t wait to share all these insights with you as I’m learning them myself as well. Again, lewishowes.com/637, for all the show notes and information.

And, as Henry Ford said, “Coming together is a beginning, keeping together is progress, working together is success.” Where are you at in your relationships right now? Are you starting them, are you keeping them, and are you working towards a greater future?

I love you guys so very much! And you know what time it is: It’s time to go out there and do something great!

Music Credits:

Music Credit: Melancholy by Ghost’n’Ghost

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